Looking Older? How Square Is Your Jaw Line?
Your face may be giving away your age, and it has nothing to do with wrinkles, sagging skin or droopy eyelids. A study in January's Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (PRS), the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), found that as we age, the lower jaw continues to grow, creating a more square jaw line, ultimately making people appear older.
"The shape of the lower jaw plays an important role in the perception of youth and can be a tell-tale sign of someone's age," said Joel Pessa, MD, ASPS Member Surgeon and study co-author. "Across the board in many cultures, the smaller and more curved a man or woman's jaw line, the younger looking they appear."
The authors studied radiographic images of 16 patients (eight men and eight women) taken at youth (mean age 16 years old) and maturity (mean age 56 years old). They discovered the lower jaw in both men and women continued to grow with age, creating a larger, squarer jaw line.
According to the study, soft-tissue procedures, such as a facelift, can create the illusion of a smaller lower jaw and may enhance a more youthful appearance.
More than 104,000 facelifts were performed in 2006, according to ASPS statistics.